January 14, 2013 / 1:16 AM / 5 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat; platinum, palladium steady on econ outlook

SINGAPORE, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Spot gold traded nearly flat
on Monday and platinum group metals extended gains as investors
await a string of economic data this week to gauge the health of
the world's top economies.
    U.S. housing and retail data is likely to show resilience
and China's economic growth probably quickened in the last
quarter of 2012, underpinning sentiment in industrial metals
like plantinum. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,661.74 an ounce
by 0057 GMT, after inching up 0.3 percent last week.
    * U.S. gold traded nearly flat at $1,662.
    * Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Bank of Japan (BOJ)
must set a 2 percent inflation target and make it a medium-term,
not long-term, goal to show markets it was determined to pursue
bold monetary easing to end nearly two decades of deflation.
 
    * Gold prices will rise 5.1 percent this year, stretching
the precious metal's bull run into a thirteenth year, a poll of
London Bullion Market Association members predicted on
Friday. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut the size of net longs
in gold futures and options to a four-month low in the week to
Jan. 8 as bullion prices tumbled on concerns the Federal Reserve
might withdraw stimulus, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission showed. 
    * China's jewellery sector is bottoming, and Hong
Kong-listed Chow Tai Fook, the world's biggest
jewellery retailer by market value, is set to benefit the most
from a rebound due to its vast store network, some analysts say.
China's jewellery market is dominated by gold
jewellery. 
    * Spot platinum inched up 0.2 percent to $1,631.76,
on course for its fifth session of gains, matching a similar
winning streak in mid-November. 
    * Spot palladium gained half a percent to $700.75,
also headed for its fifth day or rise, its longest winning run
since early October.
     * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
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    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks ended little changed on Friday as investors
took a step back from buying ahead of the busy corporate
earnings calendar. 
    * The euro rose to its highest against the dollar since
April 2012, extending gains from Friday after European Central
Bank chief Mario Draghi set a bullish tone by not giving any
indication the bank would ease monetary policy. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0900 Italy      Industrial output           Nov               
 1000 Euro zone  Industrial production       Nov               
 2100 US         Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks
    
    PRICES
   
 Precious metals prices 0057 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1661.74   -0.70   -0.04     -0.76
  Spot Silver        30.43    0.00   +0.00      0.50
  Spot Platinum    1631.76    3.01   +0.18      6.30
  Spot Palladium    700.75    3.75   +0.54      1.26
  COMEX GOLD FEB3  1662.00    1.40   +0.08     -0.82         2401
  COMEX SILVER MAR3  30.46    0.05   +0.17      0.76          563
  Euro/Dollar       1.3367
  Dollar/Yen         89.44
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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